Schecter C7 Blackjack

Schecter C7 Blackjack

Year: 2005

Made In: Korea

Specs: Mahogany body, mahogany set neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: Seymour Duncan JB & 59 humbucking pickups, passive circuit

Controls: Volume, tone, 5-way switch

Bought while I was flirting with seven strings, this was a really nice guitar.  Compared to the LTD I had, it had a much fatter neck, but it was just as playable. It needed a little bit of fretwork when it arrived and the nut needed a little attention too, but the build quality was otherwise really good. The set neck joint was very nicely sculpted like a neck-through. For the money, they’re really good value. All the hardware is good quality, thoroughly reliable and the slightly longer scale made for a good, solid low B. I can’t say anything bad about it but my time with sevens was limited so it eventually got eased on out the door.

 

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DiPinto Philadelphian

DiPinto Philadelphian

Year: 2009

Made In: Korea

Specs: Spruce top with maple back and sides, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: DiPinto floating humbucker

Controls: Volume, Tone

I took this in on a trade. It was a very, very different guitar for me but I liked that so gave it a go. Obviously, it was very easy on the eye but it was a genuinely good guitar in its own right with a very comfortable and playable neck. It’s built to fit a certain budget in a genre of guitar building which features exotic works of art at the higher end but, for what it is, I found little to complain about other than I discovered I’m really an electric player to my core and, as a result, I eased it on out the door.

B.C. Rich Stealth

B.C. Rich Stealth

Year: 2009

Made In: Korea

Specs: Alder body, mahogany neck-through, ebony fretboard

Electronics: DiMarzio X2N humbucking pickup, passive circuit

Controls: Volume

At first glance this looks like the most awkward guitar imaginable to play. This is the Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth model, picked up in a trade. I was unsure, initially, of going through with the deal but I’m a huge fan of Chuck’s music and the single humbucker, single volume setup is something I really like, so I gave it a crack.

It’s certainly different to play. It hangs differently on a strap to a V, despite sharing some design similarities. The neck is further over towards your fretting hand. It gifts the upper reaches of the neck, just presents it delightfully to your fretting hand, and invites you to get stuck in. The through-neck design gracefully forms itself into the body and upper fret access, as a result, is smooth and unimpeded. The extended upper horn works really well to rest your forearm on and, amazingly, it’s a very comfortable guitar to play.

DiMarzio’s X2N pickup has a reputation as a face-melter but, while it most definitely is a high-output monster, it cleans up nicely when you roll back the volume. There are enough mids in there to mean you can do more than just the heaviest of Metal and the top end is clear and smooth without any harshness. It’s a very usable pickup in a very playable guitar. The shape, clearly, isn’t for everybody but, as no-nonsense rock guitars go, this can hold its own with anything.

From the basic bridge to the barest of controls, there is no fluff on this guitar. There’s nothing to do other than play which isn’t a bad thing at all.

LTD H-207

LTD H-207

Year: 199x

Made In: Korea

Specs: Alder body with ash top, maple neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: 2 x Duncan Designed pickups, passive circuit

Controls: Volume, tone, 3-way switch

I’ve log been a disciple of the sound of a downtuned guitar and picked up a H-207  in the early 2000’s to see what the fuss was over seven-string guitars. These were pretty cheap at the time but surprisingly good for the money. I could never find a set of strings with balanced tension, though. The B was always looser than it should have been. Every set I found should have had a heavier B but it was a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things. I never really settled on a seven,  finding sixes more suitable to what I play and what my hands like. In the end, I just went back to tuning down six-strings and eased it on out the door. Nice guitar, all the same.

LTD DV8-R

LTD DV8-R

Year: 2004

Made In: Korea

Specs: Mahogany body, three-piece mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard

Electronics: Seymour Duncan SH4 & SH2N pickups, passive crcuit

Controls: Volume x2, tone, 3-way switch

A flying V isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I do have a soft spot for them. I picked this up a couple of years ago in a trade and, I have to say, I have a lot of time for this guitar. This is the LTD version of Dave Mustaine’s ESP signature model. It’s a low-frills affair, but despite being the budget brand it’s high quality from one end to the other. As the ends taper to sharp points, it’s huge, almost as big as a bass. I think it’s quite understated for the type of guitar it is, but that might just be me.

As ever, you can’t go wrong with a JB pickup and that’s the cornerstone of this guitar, a great start. There’s a Jazz in the neck, probably Seymour Duncan’s best selling combination of pickups. A Tonepros bridge at one end and Sperzel locking tuners at the other means it stays in tune until you need to change strings. The Dunlop straplocks are sunk into the body, another nice touch.

The neck is chunkier than you’d expect. It’s not a 50’s style neck by any means, but there’s a lot more meat to it than many contemporary Metal guitars. Tonally, it’s a well voiced rock guitar which can go a lot dirtier if it needs to. It’s nice to play, the action can go very low without problems and, if a V rocks your boat, these are well worthy of consideration.

Lakland 55-02 Skyline

Lakland 55-02 Skyline

Year: 200x

Made In: Korea

Specs: Ash body, one-piece maple neck, maple fretboard

Electronics: Lakland MM & J pickups, Lakland/Hanson preamp

Controls: Volume, Pickup blend, Bass +-, Mid +-, Treble +-,  3-way coil selection switch for the MM. Volume is push/pull to engage/bypass the preamp.

10

This was a nice bass but, for whatever reason, I never really bonded with it. It’s a clever design built to a high standard, 35″ scale, and plays really well but despite all that, I never really found a real use for it. It covered a lot of ground tonally and perhaps that was the problem. It didn’t really have its own sound, its own stamp of authority which made it indispensable so I eased it on out the door after a year or two.